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Wake Forest University

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What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

There are two contradicting stereotypes about Wake Forest students. The first is that we are all over-achieving workaholics. The second is that we are just a bunch of preppy rich kids, using our parent’s money, so we can party…all the time. In regards to the first stereotype I mentioned, I’m not going to lie, everyone here pretty much is an overachiever. That’s how we all got here in the first place. That’s not to say that every single student just works themselves into the ground, but it is definitely a well-known fact around campus that grades do matter, that good GPA’s are crucial, internships are a must, and that you must be involved in at least a couple extracurricular activities so we can look ‘well-rounded’ on our resumes Every Wake Forest student cares about their future, and we know that our university, and our performance during our time here, is the ticket to many possible career opportunities in the future. In regards to the second stereotype, I would say that it’s true for some Wake Forest students, but not the majority. Yes, there are some students here that are incredibly wealthy, but in retrospect, over 60% of our student body receives some form of financial aid. We definitely aren’t all from the South either. Wake Forest brings in students from all over. Once they get here, a lot of students are influenced by the Greek system, which is inherently Southern, and the word “y’all” starts to slip into their vocabulary (if it wasn’t there already), and Southern styles of clothing pretty much become the norm. However, one positive side of this is our great Southern hospitality! ? As for partying, we do have the motto “Work Hard, Play Hard” and it’s true to the bone. There’s pretty much something to do every day of the week besides Tuesdays and Sundays. However, you’ve got to remember that most of those kids out partying half the week are still making A’s and B’s in their classes and also very involved. We don’t just party. We work incredibly hard, and our social activities are just an added bonus!

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While this stereotype is accurate for the most part, the university is more diverse than it may seem at first glance. You will definitely see girls in Lily Pulitzer dresses and guys wearing suits and bow ties at tailgates before the football games. The amount of Lily Pulitzer planners and cell phone cases I see in class is extreme, but there are definitely students who stray from this stereotype. If you are not a fan of the preppy style, there are certainly a number of students who come to class dressed in normal casual clothes, but it is rare to see a student come to class in sweatpants. I have found that the students tend to take pride in this stereotype because they believe it is a good way to begin preparing for the real world. Students are conscious of the fact that in a few years they will be expected to show up to work in business attire and they feel that they need to begin dressing professionally now as they make connections with their professors and classmates.

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The most rampant stereotype of Wake students boils down to two words: "Preppy" and "Frat". This stereotype is based on the large percentage of the student population belonging to a Greek organization--a percentage that feels much greater than that advertised by the Admissions Office. In truth, the social vibrancy of the campus almost entirely revolves around Frat parties and Sorority functions; and, if you were to take a stroll around campus, you wouldn't be able to deny the prevalence of labels such as J.Crew and Polo. Even so, these characteristics are fruits of Wake's Southern charm. Friendliness and hospitality are as much a part of this stereotype; and, student-to-student, the stereotype of a Demon Deacon extends to exceptionally ambitious and driven. We don't call it Work Forest for nothing.

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There is a stereotype that many students who attend Wake Forest are rich, pretentious jerks who have graduated from some iconic private school somewhere. I'd be lying if I said this stereotype was entirely untrue, as the university's prestige and somewhat expensive tuition tends to draw those with this kind of personality and background. However, both the multicultural program and student organizations have blossomed in recent years, allowing for a more diverse student body as a whole. Whatever interests you identify with will surely be accommodated here.

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There's a large association with greek life, though this doesn't reach the level of rambunctiousness typified in movies and television. The statistic is that almost half of students belong to some greek association, hence many social events revolve around them which is maybe why there's such a large percentage. Another stereotype is that many of the kids here come from wealthy, old money families and are pretentious. While this is mostly true, the pretentiousness is only true on the rarest of occasions.

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The stereotype lends an interested student to believe that we are all well-dressed, Type A, fairly athletic, and heavily involved in Greek life. Most people at Wake Forest fit into at least one of these categories, but it would be a travesty to think that we can all fall in the same mold. There is something interesting about every student, but it is fair to say that the majority of our students are driven.

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stereotype = white kids who wear Vineyard Vines, drive Aston Martins, & whose parents are CEOs. Yup, pretty accurate. There are of course a small few of us who don't fall into this category, but it's the general feeling on campus...you can't escape it

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The stereotype of students at my university includes but is not limited to the following: sorostitutes, frat stars, ostracized geeds, crazy-intellectual Asians, religious hypocrites, and the high-on-cloud-nine debate team

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We are almost American

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The most prevalent stereotype on the Wake Forest campus is "the frat star". This is due to the university's large Greek Life population. Nearly 45% of students participate in a Greek organization. This means there are a lot of kids on campus wearing frat attire: Polos, Sperrys, Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, Frey boots, etc. They also have big parties off campus that are attended by many students both Greek and non-Greek. Some parents and prospective students may view this as a negative. They may think that Fraternities and Sororities are a distraction and believe they will inhibit a student’s academic achievements. This may be true at other universities but it does not hold true at Wake Forest. As a senior at Wake Forest University and a member of Greek Life, I can tell you that the Greek Students at WFU are also some the most involved and influential people on campus. Their organization might be important to them but it does not define them. Sorority women are involved in club sports as well as varsity soccer, field hockey, and cheer teams. They participate in Wake Radio, Wake TV, and student Government. They are also in many theater and dance performances. The All-Sorority GPA average (3.2) is typically higher than the All-Women GPA average on campus. This is due to the strong support system that sororities create for their members. Sororities also emphasize the importance of academic excellence and often reward their members for their achievements. Fraternity men are just as active. Many are student trustees or student advisers. Some are in student government, others play club soccer, lacrosse, and rugby. They are also involved with habitat for humanity and the rape prevention group called Prepare. The Universities biggest philanthropy fundraisers are: Hit the Bricks, Wake n' Shake, and Rush for the Cure. This year all three had were chaired by members of a Greek organization. All Greek organizations require their members to be involved in at least one of activity outside of Greek life. They also require members to maintain an acceptable grade point average. If a students GPA drops too low they will be released from the organization. It is obvious that Greek students make up a large part of the student body. However there is also a diverse group of students who remain independent. These students are all unique individuals and are just as influential on campus. They run clubs and other organizations just like members in the Greek Community. Actually, most the time Greeks and Non-Greeks are working side by side to put together big campus events. The fact that a student is not involved in Greek Life will not lessen their experience at WFU. They will form just as many lasting friendships. They will also have equal opportunities in all extracurricular events. Wake Forest is much more than colorful polos and Sperrys. Whether you are Greek or not, there is a place for you on Wake’s campus. The small size brings people together and allows students to get involved with a variety of activities. Yes there are stereotypes but they do not truly represent the diverse spirit of Wake Forest.

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